Gareth Bale has been "convinced" to join Manchester United
The transfer speculation surrounding Gareth Bale and a potential transfer to Manchester United continues.
The Real Madrid forward has been linked with a move to Old Trafford since before he joined the Spanish side. Bale reportedly snubbed United to sign for Madrid in 2013, and there was speculation that the club tried to bring him back to the Premier League when David Moyes was the manager and during Louis van Gaal's reign.
Bale had been a regular in the Madrid team and winning trophies during that time, so there never appeared to be any substance to the rumours, as the Welsh forward seemed happy in Spain. Yet, he has lost his place as a guaranteed starter in Zinedine Zidane's side over the past year due to injuries and the impressive form of other Madrid players such as Isco and Marco Asensio. And, with Real reportedly planning to overhaul their squad in the summer, Bale could be on the move.
According to Spanish media outlet Marca, Jose Mourinho has "convinced" Bale to join United this summer. The report claims that the 28-year-old is "unsettled" in Spain and doesn't want to remain at the club after losing his starting-place under Zidane. The United manager is said to have finally convinced him to join the club, after originally trying last summer.
We should take the report with a pinch of salt. United made Alexis Sanchez the highest-paid player in the Premier League when they signed him from Arsenal in January. They would possibly need to do likewise to land Bale and pay Real a massive transfer fee. There's also a question over how United would fit Bale into their team alongside attacking players such as Sanchez, Romelu Lukaku, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial.
The Welsh forward has suffered several muscle injuries over the past few years, and Mourinho has never had much sympathy for footballers who do not play through the pain barrier and make themselves available for matches even when they're not at 100 percent. It's possible that the report from Spain is coming from someone close to Madrid, and the club is seeking to create a market to potentially sell Bale in the summer. The link to United is an obvious one to make.